Linkedin API is or is not for delevopers?

October 17, 2007

I must say that I’m really surprised… I own a blog about LinkedIn and particularly about the future of LinkedIn and how new features and new ideas for LinkedIn could not only benefit LinkedIn company but also and QUITE more important LinkedIn users.

I also must say that I’m kind of a developer and I’m waiting for LinkedIn API to launch some little online application that would make LinkedIn experience better.

Why am I writing then? Well, I write about the future of LinkedIn just for fun, not to make money. I’m building that “test” addin application just for fun and not for money, I’m doing that in my free time so hearing that LinkedIn will open only to approved company sounds really sad (even though they approve me in the future or not) but also very hard and painful.

I mean… I definitely won’t wait for an approval… I definitely won’t wait for they keeping some part of any of my possible revenue because it will my work. If I build a great application by using their API, they will also win, because people and more people, and more traffic, and more and more things can be done in their website, so if I win they win… BUT.. if I lose with my application that uses LinkedIn API, I lose money and time and they lose NOTHING. So, this is not fare at all…

Providing an open API for developers (as they announce some time ago) means really to be OPEN, and this is not being OPEN AT ALL. If that happen I will definitely try to move to Facebook, XING, Marzar or whatever other business social network that works in an open way.

Web World is looking forward to be open and I won’t be part of an “open to just some approved companies” website. I will definitely do my dev staff and blog staff and spend my free time in another thing… (I’m writing at same time I’m thinking) or do I have to be paid by LinkedIn because I’m giving them some ideas (even though they probably don’t read my blog :D) that they could transform to earn money from that. Or even they share their revenues with us (users): I mean.. they earn money not only because of linkedin website service but also because of us that enter, use and navigate the website and provide them with traffic, information and lot more…

Sorry for this “no positive at all” vision but as a free time LinkedIn add-in developer and blogger about LinkedIn I’m really not happy…


Linkedin strategy for upcoming "not so open" platform

October 13, 2007

I’m back at blogging after two weeks approximately with some “possible” not good news for developers and people that are waiting Linkedin’s API.

Why? Well.. Reading Mashable.com I found an interesting post about a New York times’ article about Linkedin strategy for the upcoming API.

I guess all can be resumed to the next phrase:

“We have no interest in doing it like Facebook with an open A.P.I. letting people do whatever they want,” Mr. Nye said.

Mr. Nye is the chief executive of Linkedin, so he has the power to the decide the future of linkedin.

“So LinkedIn will have to approve any company that wants to tap into its system. Mr. Nye says he is looking for two kinds of applications. First, there are deals that enable LinkedIn members to tap into their connections in other places, for example, while using applications like Salesforce.com. Second, some applications will be allowed to add features to LinkedIn’s own site. Mr. Nye offered, as an example, a module connected to a trade show or conference that integrated travel planning and other features.”

On June 24th they mentioned they will open to developers… and they are just openning to some companies not to developers at all…

What can I say?… I have no words…

As a resume.. It looks like they are building a “not so open” platform.


Facebook is extending APIs to compete with Linkedin

September 3, 2007

Some months ago Facebook publish APIs to become a great (or very great) and amazing social network where people not just only communicate their selves using Facebook functionality but also to extend it and use it the way they want.

On the weekend I saw one post at insidefacebook (here) talking about new APIs to stay on top and to start competing with the still “uncertain” linkedin API and also with the biggest Facebook Application: Slide.

The two new API methods are:

    * friends.getLists
    * friends.getListsMembers

    Those two methods let developers build Facebook Applications that get access and clasify people in many ways…

    Based on these method names, “Friend Lists” could be buddy lists that you might use to organize your friends. For example, “Work Friends” or, say… “Top Friends”.

    Why these methods are Linkedin related? Well, Justin Smith at his post at insidefacebook.com mentioned:

    This will be a welcome change for everyone whose LinkedIn networks have migrated to Facebook. Consequently, this could mean accelerated LinkedIn attrition: per-Friend-List privacy settings could substantially decrease the need of many to actively maintain their LinkedIn accounts as well.

    As a conclusion, Facebook is working really hard, not only in making its API more and more powerful each day, but also to stay on the top of social networks. And they are doing quite well!!!!

    Maybe, before Linkedin API is ready, we have some more Facebook API’s methods to have Linkedin functionality completely inside their website.


    MMLGF 4: Showing your LinkedIn Groups activity at your public profile

    August 27, 2007

    LinkedIn public profile let users to show who they are, what they do and what are their interests and history. LinkedIn Groups are groups to collect and contact people with similar interests. So, if LinkedIn groups new version coming up in late September or my idea of LinkedIn groups I’m posting on this MMLGF series include some functionality like a Question and Answer section, why not to include each user activity into their public profile?

     

    That way asking and answering into LinkedIn groups will not only help you and others in specifics topics you are talking about but also will let you promote the activity you have on each and every LinkedIn groups you are subscribed to. So, what are the benefits? Well, I think if you choose to publish that information into your public profile is because you have something positive about you and what you are doing to show there so anyone looking for you can see it.

     

    I mean, the current version of LinkedIn groups just let you put you have some interests on something, but if you do something interesting into those LinkedIn groups you are subscribed to, why not to show you are doing something there? I guess doing that (including LinkedIn groups’ activity) will let you show more information about what LinkedIn public profile is about: show who you are, what are your interests and most important: what do you do.

     

    I don’t know if this idea is good but with this, LinkedIn groups’ participation will help everyone into promote their own activity and, consequently, add quite more value to your LinkedIn public profile.

    This is post #4 of the (M)aking the (M)ost of (L)inkedIn (G)roups (F)unctionality (MMLGF) Series.


    MMLGF 2: What we need to get and find on LinkedIn Groups

    August 21, 2007

    After the first post about features that LinkedIn or any other business social network group implementation should have, I will talk about how users use those groups what they need to find and get from there.

    As you know, nowadays there are lot of applications (web apps and desktop apps) built based on great ideas, with fantastic features. But as you also know sometimes those great ideas are not well developed and users get some features they will never use and they don’t get some features they really need. I mean applications are built based on ideas without thinking about how will users need this idea to be built.

    In my career I’ve seen quite a lot of groups’ websites and I think all of them have some important defects. Some of them don’t let users make a search, others don’t let look for members, some others don’t have the chance to export things from inside the group, others just don’t focus the navigation correctly and others just don’t let users search in other way than keyword search.

    I think users using a group website not only need to have features I mentioned on the MMLFG #1 but also have some chances to get or find specific staff on the forum. Focusing especially on business social networks groups like LinkedIn groups I think users will need good ways to find topics (questions and/or answers) that:

    • match specific keyword search.
    • asked/answered by your connections.
    • with more than certain number of answers (popular topics?).
    • asked/answered today.
    • asked/answered by some people you are interested in.
    • tagged by you before.

    As a conclusion, with advanced search possibilities like the ones I mentioned above and some others someone will need, I think users will for sure use those groups not only because they are interested in the topics groups cover but also because they can find and get what they really need. Advanced Search let users don’t waste time and look just for the information they want.

    As a final word, if we make a last little effort then it would be great if we can save those advanced search we usually do for later use, and then just execute them.

    On the next MMLGF post I will talk about “Exporting information and generating alerts from LinkedIn Groups”. Hope you go on reading me and please just leave any comment you want so I know what you are expecting from this MMLGF series.

     

    This is post #2 of the (M)aking the (M)ost of (L)inkedIn (G)roups (F)unctionality (MMLGF) Series.


    (M)aking the (M)ost of (L)inkedIn (G)roups (F)unctionality (MMLGF) Series…

    August 16, 2007

    As I mention last week I will start writing a series of blog posts I named: “Making the Most of LinkedIn Groups Functionality” or just MMLGF. I know MMLGF is difficult to say but I can’t find a best name 🙂

    I haven’t written too much of it but I’m open to hear from things you‘d like to improve or change at LinkedIn groups functionality. I mean, this guide is not at all a guide about bad things on LinkedIn groups now, but a guide about what it will be great to have and use on them.

    MMLGF 1: Features that LinkedIn Groups must have

    MMLGF 2: What we need to get and find on LinkedIn Groups

    MMLGF 3: Exporting information and generating alerts from LinkedIn Groups

    MMLGF 4: Showing your LinkedIn Groups activity at your public profile

    MMLGF 5: Accessing your LinkedIn Groups from your LinkedIn home page

    MMLGF 6: Making Connections with LinkedIn Groups members

    MMLGF 7: LinkedIn Groups activity included on Linkedin Search

    MMLGF 8: Exporting your LinkedIn groups activity (Blogging?)

    MMLGF 9: Linkedin Groups Privacy and Visibility

    MMLGF 10: LinkedIn Groups API

    I’ll be waiting your comments, ideas and thoughts about LinkedIn Groups and this MMLGF post series.


    LinkedIn Groups: hosted in Yahoo, Google or Facebook and not at LinkedIn

    August 9, 2007

    I just want to say that just one of those groups I recommended in my last posts is registered as a group of LinkedIn. Why? Maybe because you have to pay for having a group at LinkedIn so, when there a lot of websites like yahoo, Google, and even on Facebook (the “competitor”?) that let you host groups in a free way, why someone will pay to LinkedIn?

     

    Furthermore, LinkedIn groups are too restrictive and the only functionality they have is to access members as if we make a search looking for “Specific group members only”. I mean, you are not connected in any way with the other members or the group; you just have access to know who they are, but nothing else.

     

    When you open a group at Yahoo, Google or Facebook for example, you not only get access to build a community, find people and contact them (being like LinkedIn direct connections) but also you get the most important issue: posts, questions and answers, file upload and pictures for example.

     

    I’m just trying to understand what LinkedIn groups are or mean and which advantages we have when being part of a group where you do not have any new functionality.

     

    I will take a free weekend but when I come back I will start writing a small series of post talking about how we can improve groups’ functionality at LinkedIn or others business social networks, and how other social networks use and benefit by using groups.